A document filed by Nasdaq-listed shell company Vector Acquisition stated that Rocket Lab USA had accumulated losses of US$203 million (NZ$290m) since 2013. Rocket Lab has racked up big losses since it launched New Zealand into the space industry, with any profits still years away, according to a regulatory filing.
That was after reporting losses of US$30m and US$55m, respectively, in 2019 and 2020 and a further $16m loss in the first three months of this year. Vector shareholders will vote on August 20 on a proposal to merge with the Kiwi-founded business, turning Rocket Lab into a publicly-listed firm.
That was due to what Deloitte described as a “history of recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows from operations and a significant accumulated deficit”. Vector said in its filing that it expected net losses to continue “for the next several years”.
READ MORE:* Nasdaq listing to leave Peter Beck with $771m stake in Rocket Lab * Rocket Lab booked for mission to Mars * Elon Musk congratulates Rocket Lab on latest announcement with light-hearted jab: ‘Looks familiar’* Coronavirus: Rocket Lab lobbied for alert level 4 launch to avoid redundancies The filing reveals that the company’s auditors, Deloitte & Touche, expressed “substantial doubt” about Rocket Lab’s ability to continue as a going concern in May.
Although the auditor’s warning may sound ominous, US technology news website Arts Technica said the losses and warnings were unlikely to cool the appetite of investors in Rocket Lab, noting that the initial public offering would provide Rocket Lab with about US$467m in cash. But it said there was a significant market opportunity for Rocket Lab, which it intended to capitalise on by continuing to invest aggressively.
Rocket Lab is due to carry out its 20th orbital mission on Thursday evening, when it expects to launch a single satellite for the United States Space Force from its main base on the Māhia Peninsula near Gisborne. Most of Rocket Lab’s future investment will go into developing and building a larger range of Neutron rockets that will be capable of launching constellations of communications satellites as well as humans into space. The IPO will turn more than 100 of the company’s 600 mostly young employees into millionaires on paper, with founder Peter Beck retaining at least a 12.2 per cent stake in the firm, which should have a total market capitalisation of about US$4.5b.
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